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Patterson School of Accountancy
University of Mississippi

Student Achievement

We are proud to have some of the state’s and nation’s brightest and most hard-working students in the Patterson School of Accountancy (PSOA). Our retention, graduation, and CPA exam pass rates illustrate our students’ accomplishments. Our students are highly sought-after as interns and full-time employees, which shows in our internship and employment numbers.

Retention and Graduation Rates 

The per year average over the past 5 years of students joining the PSOA as freshmen was 190.8 per year. A total of 84% of these students are retained to the second year in the Bachelor of Accountancy program (with 91% retained to the sophomore year at UM in general).

The five-year average of the graduation rate of students who are part of the PSOA as juniors and graduating from UM with the Bachelor of Accountancy degree is 66.82% – and graduating from UM in general is 85.61%.

CPA Exam Pass Rates

In 2009, the PSOA launched a CPA review course, ACCY 615: Accounting, Audit, Business, and Regulation, which is offered as an elective option to all master’s students.

Students taking the course are highly successful in passing the actual CPA exam while they are in the course.  The pass rate on individual sections of the exam for students in the course has averaged 83.1% over the past six years.  This corresponds to 1120 passes in 1348 attempts over the six-year period.

Eight PSOA master’s program alumni have received the Elijah Watt Sells Award for outstanding performance on the CPA exam. We are currently #1 in the SEC and tied for #4 in the nation for number of Sells Award winners from 2020 to 2022. This prestigious award recognizes students whose scores average greater than 95.5 on all four sections of the CPA exam.

Our graduates have received 15 of the past 18 CPA exam medals awarded by the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants. In 2022, our students were awarded the gold and silver medals.

Internship Program

The PSOA began a formal internship program in spring 2004, with the goal of giving students real-world practical accounting experience. A secondary objective of the program is to foster relationships between the students and employers to promote employment placement.

We typically have well over 200 interns per year (with the vast majority in the spring), and these students intern with firms and companies all over the United States. We generally have interns in more than 20 states from coast to coast, and we often have several interns in Europe or Asia.

Employment of Master’s Graduates

Virtually 100% of our master’s graduates secure full-time employment by graduation (or within three months of graduating).